Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday's Training

It felt great to get back after my training.

Bent Press - 24 kg - 4 x 2 L, R
-These are getting so much stronger. I felt invincible today.
PRE - 6 on right, 7 on left

Long Push Press - 20 kg - 4 x 3 L, R
-Yeah, I was supposed to use the 24 kg for fewer reps, but that didn't work. After several failed attempts, I switched to the 20 kg.
-Because I used the 20 kg (wimpie!) I made myself squat ass to grass to really work it.
PRE - 8

Pull-ups - Black Band - 4 x 1
-Not so good today. The last four inches were not happening. I should have switched to the purple band, but I was too stubborn.
-I finished with a dozen or so "arm shorteners."

Suitcase Deadlifts (one-handed deadlifts)
105 lbs. x 3 - Right hand
95 lbs. x 5 - Left hand
-Seriously, I am getting soooooo pissy about my left hand grip weakness. I figured it was better to do less weight for more reps on the left than it was to try and fail 3 times with a heavier weight. I need patience, I know.

Another session of ups and downs. I choose to focus on the ups. I know I am stronger than I was last week. Baby steps.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Little Bit of DL

My last training session of the week was a short one. I didn't have much time, but I wanted to do something. So what is the logical thing to do? Deadlifts of course!!

Warm-up - 5 x 1 - 115 lbs.

Work Sets - 3 x 5 - 135 lbs.
-I did each set of 5 without walking away and resetting. I pulled. Release. Set. Pull. Release. x 5
-Not terribly heavy by any means, but I wanted to groove a proper DL pattern.

Pull-ups - black band - 3 x 1
Pull-ups - purple band - 2 x 3

Good end to my training week. I'm ready for this week. It's going to be my best in awhile. I can feel it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Almost There

I'm getting closer to 200 16 kg (35 lbs.) snatches in 10 minutes, aka the SSST.

Today I did 160 in 10 minutes. I went 8 left, 8 right on the top of the minute for 10 minutes. Then I went 6 left, 6 right each minute for 5 minutes. Holy death snatch, batman! Seriously. When I hit 200 I will be throwing a party to celebrate. Stay tuned!

My heart rate was 152 immediately following that 15 minutes. I was at 124 at 1 minute; 112 at 2 minutes; 100 at 3 minutes.

I "warmed up" with 20 kg TGUs:
Arm Bar to a TGU - 2 x 3 L, R then 2 x 2 L, R

That 3rd rep was a killer! I focused on each movement in the TGU and tried to perform each part perfectly. I also paid close attention to my neck to make sure I wasn't straining or shrugging my shoulders. I'm really digging the TGU. I love how it carries over into every other drill. A good TGU makes every other movement better.

Get out there and do 5 minutes of heavy TGUs. Your body will thank you for it!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday on Sunday

Another crazy week ahead, so I had to do some training on Sunday. My body didn't know what to think! I had fun, though.

Bent Press - 24 kg - 7 x 1 L, R
-These were smooth and strong. I reduced the amount of time between sets. I'm trying to work harder so I can grow stronger.
PRE - 7

Long Push Press - 20 kg - 3 x 5 L, R
-Finally! I did 3 sets of long push presses. I knew I had it in me! This is the first time I've done all the sets. I usually switch to regular push presses after one set. (Long push presses have a squat before the push press.)
PRE - 8

Pull-ups - Purple Band - 4 x 2
-I used a narrow bar for these. The bar I usually use is thicker with foam wraps. I wanted to mix it up and use my grip differently, so I used a regular 45 lb. bar.
-Black band wasn't happening. WTH??? Purple was even tough.

Suitcase Deadlifts - 95 lbs. - 2 x 3 L, R
-On the right, these are not an issue. On the left, I struggle to hold the bar. I may have to forego these for awhile and work my grip. I should do some BU presses and TGUs as well as some oven mitt swings. Whadaya say Brad?

Okay - it's egg and slaw time. I'm so boring! I eat the same thing for lunch every day. Oh well! Keeps me on track and it's one less thing I have to think about. Plus, the food is about nutrition and fuel, not taste and entertainment. Food is fuel, not fun!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Frustrated on Friday

My training actually went pretty well today; however, I'm frustrated. Why? Because I still have weak points that I want to fix. They are keeping me from attaining my goals.

1. Military Press groove on the left
I know the movement pattern on the left is inefficient, yet I can't find the proper patterning. Help! I need an RKC!! I'll try to get a video of myself pressing and post it for critique. I'm just not sure when I'll get to that.
2. Grip Strength
The only thing keeping me from pulling higher weight in my suitcase deadlift is my grip. (If you aren't familiar with the suitcase deadlift, it is when you lift a bar and plates on one side of your body like you are picking up a suitcase. In a normal deadlift, you lift the bar and plates in front of you.) I cannot keep ahold of the bar in my left hand when I get over 100 pounds. Let me take that back. I can hold the bar for two reps at 105 lbs. but lose it at the 3rd. If that doesn't just p!$$ me off!

I don't want to complain and I don't want to psyche myself out over these two issues, BUT they are interfering with my progress and I just can't have it.

On to the good.................

Today's training looked like this:

Military Press - 16 kg - 4 x 1, 2, 3 L, R
-On the left, I had to clean the bell before each rep. By the 3rd rung of the 3rd set I had to add a little push to my press. I HATE THAT!!!!
-On the right I went 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 straight MP Hardstyle.

Suitcase Deadlift - 105 lbs. - 5 x 1 L, R
-On the second rep, the clamp let loose and the weights fell off the bar. That sent my neck into a spasm. Scared the bejeebers out of me. I had to take a little break and regroup.
-I finished the 5 reps on the right. I did one more on the left at 105 and then had to drop down to 95 because of my left grip weakness.

-I did two sets of 1 rep w/ the black band followed immediately by 2 reps of purple band.
-I could really feel that in my lats when I used that black band. That is the closest I've ever been to doing a pull-up.
-Uh, why didn't anyone tell me that the black band has almost no stretch to it? I'm pretty stoked that I did 2 reps with that black band. It made the purple feel like a trampoline.

So there you have it. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the amazing. All in one hour. Now I'm ready for a rest. I'm munching on some almonds thinking about what to eat for supper. Steak anyone?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday's Training

Today was another hardcore TGU and snatch session. Tough, but worth every grueling minute. I'm getting closer to every goal.

Turkish Get-Ups (TGU) - 20 kg (44 lbs.)
2 x 2 L, R
5 x 1 L, R
-I focused on making each part of every TGU precise. I wanted every move of my body to be perfect.
-I can tell it's been a few weeks since I did TGUs. My wrists were pretty aggravated.
PRE - 7

Snatches - 16 kg (35 lbs.)
8 L, R at the top of the minute for 8 minutes
6 L, R at the top of the minute for 5 minutes
-That equals 188 snatches in 13 minutes. I should have just gone one more minute and I would have had 200 snatches in 14 minutes.
-I have a feeling I will be doing 200 in 10 minutes in the not to distant future.
PRE - 8

Here's a few heart rate stats from my snatch session:
Resting HR - 53 bpm
At end of snatch session - 152
After 1 min. rest - 116
After 2 min. rest - 104

I'll check that each week to see how my conditioning is coming along. I actually have no idea if any those numbers are good. I'm using them as a baseline to chart my progress to 200 in 10 min.

Monday's Training

Whew! I've been meeting myself coming and going this week. Activities and meetings just keep piling up, and it's only Wednesday!

I did get in a training session Monday, so I need to log it here. I will train again today!

Bent Press - 24 kg (53 lbs.) - 6 x 1 L, R
-These got my blood pumping. I had just had a back off week, so doing these heavy presses felt awesome. My abs are sore again! Love that. Plus, I'm really seeing some great definition in my abs. I'd say I'm up to a four pack. lol
PRE - 7 on both sides

Push Press - 20 kg (44 lbs.) - 3 x 5 L, R
-Don't rant me Brad! (Is that like "Don't taze me Dude"?) I was supposed to do 3 x 6 L, R and I was supposed to do long push presses.
-I need a form check on the long push press. I can't find a groove on those. I feel like an elephant doing ballet. So, I just stick to the regular push press.
-I'm willing to use the 24 kg bell for those Brad if you want to torture me for my disobedience to the plan. ha!
PRE - 7

Pull-ups - Purple Band - 3 x 2 & 2 x 1
-I did these very slowly and focused on engaging my lats at the beginning.
-I also paid very close attention to my shoulders. No shrugging!
-I kept my body fully extended and my neck neutral.

That was all I had time for. The deadlifts will have to wait for another day. Duty called.

I'll post my training log for today later on this evening. Off to grade more papers!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Back After It

I will be getting back to my heavy press training today. I get to do twelve 24 kg (53 lbs) bent presses. Then 36 push presses with the 20 kg (44 lbs). If I have time, I will do a bunch of pullups and then some suitcase deadlifts.

Time is short for me today, so I will probably do my deadlifts on Tuesday (tomorrow).

I have to congratulate my little kettlebell victim Jake for making it to the state AAU wrestling championship in Iowa. He's enjoying the pain!! Way to go Jake for wrestling hard through all of your matches. Have fun in Des Moines!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Last day of spring break. I spent two days driving and in meetings. My neck is screaming at me. I'll probably make a trip to my favorite chiropractor Krista this morning. Then I'll grade some papers, finally. There may be a light kettlebell session in store, but I'll see how my neck feels.

Have you been keeping up with Brad's 13 Fat-Loss Industry Lies? He's been posting a video explanation of each one on his blog @ He also has a written report you can download. This is great information.

And, don't forget about Grip-n-Rip 2.0 at Brad's gym on April 5. If you want to increase your strength and get advice from two of the most knowledgeable men I know - Brad Nelson and Adam Glass - you need to get signed up. It was definitely a turning point for my training. I put up a 24 kg bent press for the first time ever as well as a 20 kg TGU. Now these are my regular training weights.

Grip-n-Rip re-energized me. Plus it was fun! Think about being part of it the second time around.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring "not such a" Break

It's not spring break. It's kettlebell break!

I'm actually on spring break from the college, and while hundreds of thousands of college students take over beaches of warm shores, I am stuck in the frozen tundra of hell, I mean Iowa. However, I have been having my own special brand of fun: a kettlebell bonanza! In fact, I have been doing so many things kettlebell that I haven't made any progress on grading the mountain of papers looming in front of me.

On Thursday I trained a 10 year old football player/wrestler.

On Friday, I got to see Corey Howard's Results Personal Training facility in Sioux Falls. He had a sloshpipe that he let me try out. That was so cool and fun and tough! (Corey trains Miss South Dakota and he will be taking the RKC soon. He has a blog if you want to check it out -

Monday I taught a high school PE class; Tuesday (today) I taught another high school PE class. All of these high schoolers are newbies, but they all caught on fast. I even took them through a swing workout with Mr. Gymboss. They enjoyed the pain!

Then, this afternoon I trained a high school football player, Bret. He is a junior and wants to go into his senior year strong and fast. I think he was blown away by the intensity of kbs as well as the way it works your entire body. Bret's strength coach Kory is a friend of mine and he even worked along with Bret. Actually, Kory is the one that encouraged Bret to give kbs a try.

I have been having a blast on my kettlebell break. I wish my break could last forever so that I could just continue to teach kbs. It would be awesome to not have to grade papers for awhile. A sabbatical from my English position. That's what I need! Too bad kettlebell research doesn't count toward English scholarship. Shoot a pickle!

Oh well. I'll just keep RKCing on the side. It is a fun change of pace and keeps me fresh with my teaching and diagnostic skills. Teaching English pays the bills; training with and teaching kbs keeps me sane!

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's All Good

My cold is pretty much done. I took some Alka-Seltzer cold on Saturday night, went to bed insanely early for a Saturday (10:00 pm NEW time = 9:00 pm old time), took a good nap on Sunday afternoon, and drank water, water, tea, water, tea, water all weekend.

This morning, I woke up feeling much better. I'm glad that I only resorted to an OTC medicine once. I try to stay away from medication as much as possible. Instead I eat organic, whole foods as much as possible, and I've eliminated almost everything processed.

Almost everything. I still can't get over my craving for chocolate after I eat a meal. And, I still like a vanilla wafer (or 5) with my tea. Grrrrrr! I've got to get a grip, seriously!

This morning I did a nice light workout with a group of high schoolers. Our high school received a set of kbs in a PE grant, so I went in and worked with a group this morning. I'll get another group tomorrow. I'm also working with a 10 year old wrestler/football player. I really enjoy working with youth and kbs. They catch on quickly and work hard all while they are giving me grief. I love it!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Oh Crud!

Here is it, March 7, a good four months into winter here in Iowa. I haven't had as much as a sniffle all winter. Everyone at work has had the flu and respiratory viruses. The kids at the elementary schools have been passing strep throat around like a tray of cookies. My kids - healthy. Nothing. Nada.

A few weeks ago, Conner (my son) had a quick bout of throwing up. He never had a temp. He felt fine after 12 hours. Today, my daughter Lauren has that same thing. She is so ticked off. It is so funny how she is literally mad about being sick. She doesn't really want us to baby her. She just wants it gone.

My head has stuffed up. I am living with my head in a pressure chamber. It's not so bad, but I'm being a bit of baby since I haven't been sick in so long. I'm betting that it'll be gone quickly. I am, however, too drained to attempt my deadlifts, military presses, and pullups. I think I'll just rest. That means no training updates for awhile. :-(

Oh well. Probably time for a back off week anyway. I hope all of you are staying healthy. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Whoa Baby

What a workout today! I made it through everything with gas in the tank. I've actually been getting enough sleep this week. Here's what I did:

Arm Bar to TGU - 20 kg (44 lbs.)
2 x 2 L, R
4 x 1 L, R
I did 16 TGUs in all.
That first set of 2 and 2 was a killer. My body needed to get accustomed to that weight. After that, I was strong and steady.
PRE - 8

Snatches - 16 kg (35 lbs.)
7 L, 7 R on the top of the minute for 12 minutes
4 L, 4 R on the top of the minute for 8 minutes
PRE - 9

That was 20 minutes of intense work. This type of snatching is much harder than MV02 at a 15:15 cadence. That's probably because, for one, I use a 12 kg bell for MV02. Second, I work for 15 seconds at a time with MV02 versus 30 seconds for this top of the minute snatching. You'd think once you get to the 4 and 4 that you'd be home free. Wrong.

I kept focused and pushed through it. It felt so amazing when I was done. I love that feeling. It's what keeps me coming back.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Fun

Mondays are my heavy push/press days. It usually takes me 50 minutes or so to do this training. Today it took over an hour. Brad added extra reps to most of my sets. It is surprising how much that affects the workload, especially when doing heavy work. My neck and traps are screaming at me tonight.

Heavy Bent Press
24kg / 6x1 L, R - Awesome work on these. Fun, fun, fun.
20kg / 2x3 L, R - These felt tougher than the 24 kg because of the third rep. That was kind of the theme of the day.

Long Push Press - 20kg - 5x5 L, R
-I did one set of 5 L, R and then cut back to 5 reps. That 5th rep was too much on my neck/trap. I need to do a long Z Health session before bed tonight.

Pull-ups - Purple band - 2x2 and 4x1
-These went well. I did each rep slow and made sure I kept my body stretched out and started from a dead hang.

Suitcase Deadlifts - 95 lbs. - 5x3 L, R
-My grip felt more secure today. I have to say, however, that the third rep made the session a lot more challenging. I ended up only doing 4 sets of 3. I was done.

I'm pleased with my work today. I can definitely tell I'm stronger than I was a month ago. I'm thinking that I will take a back off week next week. I've been going hard for 5 weeks. I need to let my body recoup. I will keep my focus and intensity throughout this week. I plan to finish strong again.